Digital Transformations of Research
Abstract: There is a fundamental change taking place in the world of research: digital tools and data shared via electronic networks are having far-reaching effects. From 'big science' physics experiments like the Large Hadron Collider which is using distributed high-performance computing to analyze massive amounts of data to humanities scholars who digitize large volumes of text to uncover changing patterns of language use, networked digital research is having profound effects on the practices of researchers. From the Grid, to the Cloud, to Big Data, research practices are ever more tightly coupled to computing. These changes can be understood on a number of levels, including organizational changes, changes in knowledge production, and in the communication of research. We propose a model for understanding the connections among these. And although these changes take place in different ways in different disciplines, we argue that, like ripples in a pond, the changes add up to a broader transformation of the landscape of research.
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